Sara Hall Leads Strong Open Field at June 4 Freihofer's Run for Women in Albany, N.Y.
Sara Hall of Redding, CA
Burla, Nelson, Peyton, Flanagan and Moody Also in Field to Compete for $10,000 First Place Prize
ALBANY, NY (May 24, 2016) — It’s been 11 years since an American runner last won this prestigious all-women’s 5K in Albany, N.Y. (2004 Marla Runyan, 15:26), but that lengthy drought will come to an end Saturday, June 4 at 9:30 a.m. when the 38th edition takes place adjacent to the New York State Capitol building.
In support of American athletes heading to the Rio 2016 Olympics, event organizers have decided to make this year’s field American only.
“It’s really nice to be able to back our American athletes and have a US runner win the race again,” said longtime Event Director George Regan, noting that athletes from Kenya, Ethiopia, Australia and Morocco have dominated the winner’s podium since 2005. “We have a rich history of being supportive of our US distance runners and have hosted 25 national championships at both the 5K and 10K distances since the event’s inception in 1979.”
Sara Hall (Redding, Calif.), 32, one of America's premier distance runners, is a leading contender for the $10,000 first place prize. A former All-American at Stanford University who boasts a personal best of 15:20.88 at 5,000 meters and ran a PB at last month’s Virgin Money London Marathon (2:30:06), plans to compete with her daughter Hana, 15, in the event’s mother/daughter competition. She is also the 2012 US National Cross-Country Champion, a gold medalist at the Pan American Games in the steeplechase and represented the US at three World Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Set to toe the line with Hall are a cadre of veteran and up-and-coming runners, including:
Serena Burla of Stafford, VA
- Serena Burla (Stafford, VA), who finished 8th at the 2015 Freihofer’s and was the event’s top American (16:11). Burla, 32, whose PRs include 15:47 at 5,000m, was the third place finisher at the 2016 Pittsburgh Half Marathon, 6th 2016 Cherry Blossom 10 Mile, as well as 8th 2016 US Olympic Marathon Trials.
- Brianne Nelson (Golden, CO), an event newcomer, who won the 2016 Newport 10K and was 3rd at the 2016 US Half Marathon Championships, 2nd 2015 US Half Marathon Championships and 3rd 2015 US 20K Championships.
- Meghan Peyton (Bloomington, Minn.), the event’s 9th place finisher (and third American) at Freihofer’s in 2011 (16:13). Her recent achievements include 8th 2015 USA Marathon Championships, 10th 2014 USA Marathon Championships, 8th 2014 USA 10 Mile Championships and 8th 2014 USA 15K Championships.
- Katie Moen (St. Paul, Minn.), a member of Team USA Minnesota, who made two appearances in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Championships (2014 and 2015) for Iowa State University. Moen, who has a 5,000m PR of 15:52, was 9th 2016 US Mile Championships, 10th 2015 NCAA Outdoor Championships 3000m and 8th 2014 NCAA Cross-Country Championships.
- Juliet Bottorff (Brighton, MA), a member of the BAA High Performance team and 2011 NCAA 10,000m champion at Duke, whose recent achievements include 5th 2014 Peachtree Road Race and 4th 2014 US Outdoor Track Nationals at 10,000m.
- Maegan Krifchin (Silver Spring, MD), a 2010 graduate of Syracuse University who finished 7th in February’s US Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles (2:33.34). The Bellmore, N.Y. native, a part-time occupational therapist, also finished 3rd in the 2016 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, 7th 2016 US Olympic Marathon Trials and 1st 2015 Rock N Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon.
- Dani Miller (Rochester Hills, Mich.), a member of the Hansons-Brooks Project, who earned All-American status at 5,000m at Northwood University. She qualified for the 2016 US Olympic Marathon Trials after finishing 13th at the 2015 Houston Marathon and was 1st at the 2015 Rock N Roll Seattle Half Marathon.
- Tera Moody (Chicago, Ill.), who finished 13th here in 2013 (16:34), was one of nine Illinois long distance runners to compete at the 2016 US Olympic Marathon Trials by virtue of her 2:39:32 finish at the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Moody will join 12 other elite runners in the event’s popular Invited Athlete School Visitation Program, which teaches area elementary and middle school children about the lifelong benefits of healthy eating and regular exercise.
- Lindsay Flanagan (Silver Springs, Md.), an Arlington Heights, Ill. native and recent University of Washington graduate who was 9th at Freihofer’s in 2015 (16:16). Flanagan trains in Silver Spring with Mizuno-sponsored runners Maegan Krifchin and Serena Burla. Flanagan qualified for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials with a time of 1:13:56 at the 2013 Big Sur Half-Marathon.
- Jessica Watychowicz (Silver Spring, Md.), a former All-American in both cross-country and track at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. The Burbank, Ill. native is in her first year as a professional runner and finished the 2016 Houston Half Marathon in 1:17.37.
- Joanna Thompson (Blowing Rock, NC), an All American in cross-country at North Carolina State and a member of ZAP Fitness-Reebok. She was one of six ZAP team members to take part in the 2016 US Olympic Marathon Trials thanks to a 1:14.10 showing at the 2015 Rock & Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon.
- Nicole Dimercurio (Blowing Rock, NC), an All-SEC performer in both the 5,000m and 10,000m at the University of Georgia in Athens. A member of ZAP Fitness-Reebok, her 1:14 performance at the Jacksonville Half Marathon qualified her for the 2016 US Olympic Marathon Trials where she competed in her first marathon. The Suwanee, GA native was the second woman across the line at the 2015 Peachtree 10K Road Race (34:02).
- Sinead Haughey (Blowing Rock, NC), a member of ZAP Fitness-Reebok and a 2015 graduate of Furman University. During her time at Furman, Haughey was a two-time NCAA Championship qualifier in the 10,000m and was named the “Most Outstanding Performer” at the Outdoor Championships as a junior after winning both the 5,000m and 10,000m events. She was the third place female at Atlanta’s historic Peachtree Road Race, her first race in a ZAP Fitness-Reebok uniform.
- Allie Kieffer (New York City, NY), a Wake Forest University graduate who competed on the cross-country and track & field teams for four years earning All-ACC honors in cross-country in 2008. Kieffer, who has a 5K PR of 15:57, finished 2nd 2016 Pensecola Double Bridge Run 15K, 9th Overall Cherry Blossom 10 Mile (3rd American) and 2nd 2016 More/Shape Women’s Half Marathon.
“It is exciting to once again feature top American athletes at Freihofer's,” said Elite Athlete Recuiter John Tope. “The depth of the field and the participation of so many American Distance Project Teams — our main distance running development support here in the US — will make for a very interesting race on June 4th.”
For more information about the 38th annual Freihofer’s Run for Women, 29th annual Kids’ Run and 6th annual Freihofer’s Junior 3K, visit freihofersrun.com. Online registration is open until midnight on Tuesday, May 31. From the event’s home page, you can also link to the event's Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.
Event sponsors include the Charles Freihofer Baking Company, Price Chopper Supermarkets and The City of Albany. Media partners include 99.5 The River, CBS6 and the Times Union.
Freihofer's, a leading baker of wholesome products, is committed to fostering the growth and recognition of women in sports and inspiring all generations of women to experience the benefits of exercise and good nutrition. Freihofer's continues to set the pace by sponsoring the annual Freihofer's Run for Women 5K. Now in its 38th year, the event is home to the Master's World Best & U.S. All-Comers record of 15:48 set in 2004 by Colleen DeReuck and features thousands of women from recreational joggers to Olympians who challenge themselves on the picturesque 3.1-mile course. For more information, visit freihofersrun.com